Travel often inspires me in the kitchen. Visiting a new place is not just about sights and smells – it’s also about taste. Last week we spent a few days in Maui, my favorite tropical island basking in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It was lush with palm trees and crawling with brightly colored jeeps. The beach breezes were balmy and time slowed to a lazy saunter.
Pulling over at an outdoor fruit market with the turquoise ocean sparking in the distance, the aroma of sun-ripened Hawaiian fruit heavy in the air. Mangoes, papayas, coconuts, passion fruit and (the star of the show!) Maui Gold pineapples. The fruit vendor was more than happy to share samples of everything and we walked away with more fruit than we’d be able to eat in our few days on the island.
Maui Gold pineapples are special. Between the warm tropical breeze and the rich volcanic soil, pineapples grown on Maui are known by their extra sweet flavor. A lot of love goes into producing a single pineapple – 18 months of love to be exact! In addition to enjoying sweet bites of pineapple, we enjoyed handfuls of local roasted macadamia nuts.
After leaving the tropics behind and returning home I couldn’t resist the urge to create a little taste of Maui to enjoy in my own backyard. Fresh pineapple and roasted, salted macadamia nuts worked into a delicate, sweet mini muffin…take a bite, close your eyes, and listen for the ocean.
- 3½ cups blanched almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup roasted and salted, Macadamia Nuts, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
- 1 tablespoon coconut cream
- 1½ cups coconut sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon rum (or pineapple juice)
- 1½ cups fresh pineapple, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 36 mini muffin tins with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and macadamia nuts.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the softened coconut oil and the coconut cream. Add the coconut sugar and cream until fully combined. Add the eggs and rum and beat until the mixture is smooth.
- Stir in half of the flour mixture and mix until blended. Stir in the fresh pineapple. Stir in the remaining flour mixture until blended.
- Divide the batter between 36 mini muffin tins. In a small bowl combine the coconut palm sugar and ground cinnamon topping. Sprinkle over the tops of each of the mini muffins. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, until baked through. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove from the muffin tin. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!